Those two words… “dear one”… words said with such love. I was introduced to them years ago and a few months ago their value and meaning began to take shape. I have found them to be such a gentle reminder of the love Jesus has for us.
Tonight, I found those two words, whispered in the depths of the most painful heartache and physical agony. Anniversaries are the hardest reminders of the scars we bear in loss because of death. We’ll be reminded in just a few days, of the day that was both victory and agony…. my beloved ones heaven day. We’re all in various stages of pain, remembrance and sadness. Today it took it’s toll. My mind and heart were ready to explode. I’ve been suffering from some physical issues as a result of grief and this time it hit harder then ever. I was laid flat literally in bed. I just wanted to be done, to be with Jesus and my beloved and have relief from this world’s darkness and pain. So sick I couldn’t think straight.
I closed my eyes and pleaded with Jesus. After a few minutes I could see through the pain. And though I was awake, eyes shut and feeling the weight of my small world crushing my breath away… it was as though I was dreaming. I begged for a miracle, one moment with my beloved, a glimpse of heaven, a hand to hold or a Jesus hug I could feel. “Please God.” I begged. I also asked for the pain to go away so I could think. The physical pain took some time to fade, in the mean time… a miracle. I didn’t receive anything I begged for, but a rare peace flowed through me. I was having a conversation with Jesus, like I never have before. I saw faces in my mind, I heard Him say six words. I wasn’t sure what to make of them, but they stuck in my head and I have held on to them like a lifeline and treasured them in my very soul.
The first words were, “dear one,” and I knew He loved me. I also knew if what I was asking for was best for me, He’d have given it. But it was like a hug or a look into heaven, to hear those two words whispered in my agony of heart and body. My muscles relaxed and peace soothed my tired brain. I was able to focus on God’s love and remember He’d promised to be my husband.
The next word I heard was, “warrior,” I thought of the battle my beloved had fought, the victory he’d won, but it seemed as though God was indicating I was a warrior. I never thought of myself that way. I saw myself as the armor bearer, trusted sidekick and caregiver. But He distinctly said it of me and I began to grasp that I was more to Him and my beloved then I ever saw myself as. The tears pressed against the back of my eyes and I felt like my head was going to explode with their pain. As a tear slipped out of each eye, my physical pain began to drain me.
Next I heard, “fragile.” It was so clear I wondered if I was losing my head. God has spoke before, but it has never been this way. He saw me as His child. But I realized this made me the one who needed cared for. I didn’t have to do it all on my own. I’d been a caregiver, but He wanted to give the care. How amazing to think on this. He wanted me to come with my brokeness and fragile humanity. He wanted me to crawl into His arms and let Him comfort and hold me. He never intended for me to go it alone. My pain was lessening at this point.
Then I heard Him say, “cry.” Oh, this word is a hard word to hear. But the tears were falling in a small stream by now, as I hugged my pillows close. The physical pain in my body had caused me to be very, very still to avoid further pain. The whole room was still and God was so very present, giving me permission to weep as I’d never wept before.
The last word I heard was, “rest.” At this point, it was as if God was right there and I was leaning up against His strong chest and His arms were around me. I was so relaxed and at this point I was finally pain free. Rest will always be a hard word to act on. But I truly knew real rest, the pain had been an attack and yet God used it to get my attention. I had no choice but stillness.
I thanked God for the miracle. The miracle of being told I was dear to His heart, being told I was a warrior and that my personal battle made me who I am, being reminded of my fragileness and deep need in spite of the warriors heart, being reminded to weep and knowing healing tears, and being reminded to lean in and rest in His arms. Though I wished for things I thought I needed, He gave me something better, the holiness of His presence. He promised to take care of me, and He did just that.
So as I walk in the shadow, I am reminded that shadows are only cast if there is a light source. God is my lightsource and my salvation, the light of this world and the light that pierces through the darkest broken places.